Commentary

A hope and wish at Christmas

Dec. 25 is not the date of Jesus's birth. He was likely born about six months after John The Baptist who was born in the spring. So, in a way, it is somewhat humorous when a retail chain refuses to use the term Merry Christmas to ignore Jesus. It really isn't his birthday that coincides with ...

Black Friday has lost some electricity

Maybe it's time to rename Black Friday. You've probably noticed that in recent years it has crept into other days of the week.It seems that every retailer is looking for ways to keep ahead of the competition. Recently, Sears sent an email advising that I did not have to wait until Black Friday. ...

Ripley’s special gift in Trudy

They are called "movers and shakers" people who are influential and make things happen. Normally you would hear this term in regards to business leaders or politicians, but even our small towns have movers and shakers. We have one right here in Ripley. Her name is Trudy Babcock.If you have ...

When bad things turn into good

Today I'm remembering ZaSu Pitts because I feel like her. One of her favorite expressions was, "oh, dear, life is just a bowl of cherries and I'm the pits."The part that I take out for myself is "everything happens to me." This was last Friday. I have a cleaning aide that comes in every Tuesday ...

Happy holidays come with precautions

During Christmas and holiday season people are often busy, excited and a little careless. Unfortunately it's a time when they should be extra careful. This season don't let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, pick-pockets, purse-snatchers and con artists a better chance to do ...

Chocolate-covered everything

Just when we're trying to slim down to our most svelte appearance for all those holiday parties, along comes "Chocolate-Covered Anything Day," to be celebrated on Dec. 16."Eat Chocolate Cake Day" on Jan. 23 pretty well destroyed my reputation as a baker of cakes. I have had wild successes in my ...

Bringing in strength to U.S.

Thanks to the presidential candidates, immigration is once again at the forefront of the national agenda. Unfortunately, the focus on unauthorized immigrants threatens to cast a pall over the whole issue.As we continue the debate, we would do well to remember that a willingness to welcome ...

It’s quiet on faculty front

The protests at University of Missouri and Yale University have spread. Campus protesters demand that university positions be handed out in a racial spoils system, blatant nonsense be accepted as fact, and free speech be curtailed. An interesting issue is why the faculty have remained silent.At ...

Words from a woman’s point of view

Last Wednesday, it was late in the afternoon as I sat at my dining room table putting pen to paper making a "To Do" list as most women do this time of year. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of one of my family's favorite meals, our beloved dogs were at my feet (probably thinking that ...

A date that will ‘live in infamy’

It was an early Sunday afternoon. The date was Dec. 7, 1941, when from the small table radio in our farm family kitchen came these shocking and devastating words "we interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin from Washington, D.C. ... The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, ...

Event is appreciation for veterans

The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council appreciates all efforts by everyone for a notable Veterans Day 2015.As commander of the council, I had the opportunity to offer the welcome speech at Applebee's Restaurant and introduce this year's Master of Ceremonies, John D'Agostino, OBSERVER publisher. The ...

Some honors forgotten for war heroes

This past Memorial Day, I wrote an article about Henry Lincoln Johnson, the diminutive Albany native whose courage on the killing fields of France during World War I earned him the Croix de Guerre with Golden Palm (France's highest award). He belonged to New York's 369th Infantry Regiment, an ...

Towns hamper progress by cities

Want to really drive commerce throughout the Upstate New York region, then we all need to concentrate resources and energy on strengthening our Upstate small and medium sized cities; yes, our cities.Want to give the Consolidated Funding Application and other state funds a better chance of ...

Weighing the good and bad

A few years ago while shopping, a woman in the aisle stopped and asked if I remembered her? I replied no. She went on to explain that we among others had taken a smoking cessation class held at Brooks Memorial Hospital and mentioned that I was responsible for her quitting smoking.How? I ...

Even in Manhattan, Eden has a special place

Editor's note: Sarah T. Schwab, who has been an OBSERVER contributor for nearly seven years, is discontinuing her column. This is her final Sunday Voice and is reprinted from December 2013.Growing up, there were innumerable hours in which my mother, father, and I spent together in silence. Some ...

We’re going to have healthy holidays

Well, we're in the holiday season. I was invited to eat with my adopted family. The food was delicious and plentiful. I even got a dish to take home. Then my sister Jo gave me some leftovers from their food. I used to take home the carcass and make soup. Now they keep the carcass and make their ...

We’re missing out on being a part of the process

In the United States, voter turnout, particularly in non-presidential years, is nothing to be proud of, and in the last 40 years, even turnout in presidential years has rarely been much above 55 percent of eligible voters. Our record in national elections, compared to many other nations, is ...

The Christmas card … inal

It wasn't until I researched the evening grosbeak for last month's column that I learned the cardinal is also a member of the finch family. That said, the family tree spreads so wide that the most commonly shared feature is their short conical beak.I wrote about cardinals way back when and I ...

Terror from afar — and this already here

Who are we? That's the million-dollar question lately, and the recent House vote to limit Syrian refugees cuts to the very heart of our patriotic identity as a nation of immigrants.It's hard to make decisions in the forge of hot emotion, but we depend on our representatives to do just that. ...

Finding a return to ‘high ground’

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said unto them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy ...